Dr. Peter Rork—a retired orthopedic surgeon and pilot who co-founded Dog Is My CoPilot, an organization that flys shelter animals to different parts of the country, boosting their prospects of being adopted—recalls his lifelong love of flying, taking his first lessons at age 12. He describes his all-consuming passion for being airborne, noting that one of the top ten experiences in his life was when he first soloed in a plane. Rork explains that his zeal for flying has never wavered, that even during the grueling years of medical school, subsequent training and practicing, he always found the time to fly. Rork recounts how Founding Dog Is My CoPilot (with attorney and original executive director Judy Zimet) represents the confluence of a few factors, including having volunteered with Pilots N Paws, a somewhat similar organization (though it tended to fly few animals, sometimes as few as one), Rork’s decision to retire from his medical practice, and his enduring love of dogs. He addresses some aspects of the early years (mistakes made while traveling the learning curve, a smaller plane, etc.), while reporting how the well-oiled machine that DICM has become—with present/current executive director Kara Pollard, deftly handling all the planning involved with the sending organizations, the receiving organizations, the other logistics—now operates on a given flight. Noting that they have now flown more than 8000 animals, Rork points out that apart from a couple of modest grants—and reaching into his own pocket as needed—Dog Is My CoPilot is a nonprofit funded by donations; the organizations for whom Rork flys the animals never pay a dime. (https://dogcopilot.org, https://www.facebook.com/DogIsMyCoPilotInc)
ALSO: I spoke briefly with Frank Cerabino, a columnist at The Palm Beach Post, who tweeted a photo of an iguana who, temporarily stunned by the 40-degree temperatures that marked the south Florida cold snap, was lying supine near the edge of Cerabino’s pool. That photo went big-time viral, appearing online, in newspapers, and on television across the world. Cerabino’s column about the iguana adventure: https://tinyurl.com/y84bjp6u
COMEDY CORNER: Ahmed Bharoocha’s “Crows & Cows” (http://ahmedbharoocha.com)
MUSIC: Rebekah Pulley’s “Talking Animals Theme,” instrumentals
NAME THAT ANIMAL TUNE: We didn’t play Name That Animal Tune today.
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